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Get Your Special K – Wellness Retreats with Ketamine

Written by Sarah Friedman

The rise of ketamine also means the rise of ketamine retreats; as another great offering of the general wellness market

There are retreats for nearly everything, and this includes the drug ‘special k.’ Yup, read on to find out about ketamine retreats, and the best ones to try out.

Retreats and ketamine

Retreats are generally trips that take place to foster some kind of self-improvement in an individual or group. This can vary greatly from an educational course, to a medical getaway, to something spiritual (with or without drugs), to something meant simply for relaxing and unwinding. Most retreats are associated with being outside city centers, usually in some beautiful part of nature. And they can be a one-day thing, or last for days, weeks, or months, depending on the program.

Ketamine is a dissociative hallucinogen; which is allowed for off-label therapy and pain treatments, via a loophole through FDA regulation. This regulation states that doctors can prescribe a legal drug for uses its not directly cleared for by the FDA, if the doctor thinks its appropriate for a patient. This loophole spawned an entire industry of ketamine clinics that function in this legal gray area.

Much like with psychedelic therapy using magic mushrooms, LSD, mescaline, or DMT; and psychostimulant MDMA; ketamine is associated with help in treating a range of psychological issues, from PTSD, to postpartum depression, to major depression, to anxiety, and so on. It has an edge over the other drugs, as well, because it can also be used to treat acute and chronic pain issues. In both cases of psychological treatment and pain treatment, ketamine has shown to bring on symptom reduction for long lasting periods of time.

Ketamine retreats offer a way to converge this therapy, with dazzling natural views, all around. A place to start healing, away from the rest of the world; with experienced practitioners, and like-minded folks. So, check out these programs for the best that’s out there right now in the world of ketamine retreats.

Scotia Lodge via Humboldt Center for New Growth

Located in the Redwoods of California, Scotia Lodge is a historical hotel with 22 rooms, which often hosts events. Two upcoming ones are through the Humboldt Center for New Growth; which hosts yearly ketamine retreats there. The Center for New Growth is a wellness facility with the goal of “transforming trauma into wholeness.” As part of this, the company provides ketamine therapy: IV, IM, or sublingual. And even organizes a couple ketamine retreats.

The first offering is the Healing the Healer retreat, which goes from February 18-24. This is geared specifically for those who take care of others, and offers ketamine therapy along with other treatments. Retreat-goers will learn to deal with the anxieties, stresses, and other mental health issues that arise from caregiving.

The retreat includes social hour time; circle time; guided ketamine journeys; regular integration sessions, along with art therapy integration, and sound therapy integration; yoga; plenty of free time for reflection, and three meals a day. All this, with two ketamine sessions, costs $2,995 per person. This is broken down between a $1,725 retreat fee, and a $1,270 lodging fee.

The second ketamine retreat offering is called Connection: Meeting the True Self. This retreat will take place in the summer, and dates are not available yet. Last year’s was held from August 6-9th. According to the company, this retreat “is designed to help you connect with your true self and unlock the potential for growth and healing.”

And that “Our retreat offers a safe and supportive environment for you to explore the inner workings of your mind and emotions. Through ketamine-assisted therapy, you will be able to tap into your subconscious and access buried emotions, memories, and insights that can help you better understand yourself and your place in the world.”

Who would benefit most from this retreat? “Our retreat is designed for individuals who are ready to explore their inner selves and embark on a journey of self-discovery and healing. Whether you are struggling with anxiety, depression, trauma, or simply feel disconnected from yourself and others, our retreat can help you find the clarity, insight, and understanding you need to move forward in your life.” There is no schedule yet for this year, or a cost structure. Stay tuned to the site for updates.

Transcendelic

If you’re looking for a ketamine or psychedelic retreat, Transcendelic, based out of San Diego, California, provides plenty of options. According to their team, “We are a team of visionaries including licensed healthcare professionals with training in psychedelic-assisted and ketamine-assisted therapy, as well as other passionate professionals who are dedicated to your well-being. We cultivate unique experiences that allow you to discover the power of your inner healing intelligence.”

It’s first available ketamine retreat for the year is the 4-Day February Reset, from February 22-25. A first one in January is already sold out. The February retreat takes place at the Cactus Blossom Retreat Center in scenic Escondido, California; where participants stay in a luxurious mansion with tons of amenities.

Beyond three IM ketamine sessions (and accompanying preparation and integration sessions), participants also take part in yoga classes, massage (Lomi Lomi, Ayurvedic, Himalayan salt stone massage), music, meditation, group integration circles, activities in nature, r&r time, reflection, journaling, swimming, and group therapy.

The company provides an early bird special that ends January 15th. The special brings the cost of a regular shared room, down to $3,200, from $3,700; doubles down to $4,200 per person from $4,700; and private rooms for $5,200 from $5,700. And if you can’t make it for February, the company offers the same 4-Day April Reset, from the 4-7 of that month.

Menla

This company is a part of Tibet House US, and is a 501 c3 non-profit company. It provides a retreat center and spa in the Catskill Forest Preserve, about two hours drive from New York City. Per the company, “Menla is committed to bringing authentic Tibetan mind-body healing arts and sciences to the West. Our vision is to draw from Tibetan wisdom sciences to reinforce the new wave of holistic integrative medicine now emerging in Western societies.”

Menla offers two ketamine retreats this year. The first is called Cultivating Joy: A Ketamine-assisted Mindfulness Retreat, and takes place February 15-18. “This is a safe, structured retreat led by a staff of licensed and highly experienced therapists and physicians in the beautiful Catskill Mountains at MENLA Retreat and Spa.”

They continue, “If you are committed to the practice of sharing the fullness of your being, locating your best self, your enthusiasm & vitality, your spirit, your trust, your openness, above all, your presence~ this may be a weekend experience for you. Join this retreat if you have a deep desire to share yourself in this way, with yourself, with fellow retreat members, with your family, friends, and with the world.”

The retreat involves meditation and yoga, time for relaxation and spa treatments, ketamine sessions (along with preparation and integration), workshops and programming, bonfire, night activities, and three meals a day (unless it conflicts with ketamine treatments). Pricing starts at $596 for a shared economy double, and go up to $969 for a Deluxe Queen private room. There are plenty of options in between. If there is a separate retreat fee, it was not clear in the literature. Prices as per RetreatGuru, not Menla.

From June 20-23, the company hosts the similar Cultivating Joy: A Ketamine-assisted Mindfulness Retreat for Professionals. This retreat is similar to the Healing the Healers retreat mentioned earlier. “This four-day retreat is designed for licensed professionals. The program design focuses on supporting the personal wellbeing of clinicians, particularly those dealing with burnout, experiencing Zoom fatigue, depression. feeling isolated, and having limited time for self-care practices.”

Programming is about the same as Menla’s other ketamine retreat. This one comes with a stated cost of $2,500, with it noted that housing and medical intake cost additional fees. Housing for this retreat ranges from $702 for a shared economy double, to $1,140 for the Deluxe Queen. There are plenty of options in between.

Conclusion

With the popularity of ketamine, its no surprise that ketamine retreats are popping up all over the place. These are a few to get acquainted with, though there are plenty more out there to choose from, if these programs do not meet your needs.

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About the author

Sarah Friedman

I look stuff up and and write stuff down, in order to make sense of the world around. And I travel a lot too.